Dated: August 31 2021

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There are a number of things that can be done to add value to a home but we’ve identified those that - on average - have the best and worst ROI (return on investment). Of course, some ideas are going to be more expensive than others so you must decide which options best fit your home, lifestyle, needs and most importantly, your budget.

Let’s start outdoors, this might not be the first thing you think about when investing in your home’s value but it will give your home a much better aesthetic and welcoming feel to connect with potential buyers. That should entice more buyers to come in and look, which could trigger multiple offers.

First Off, Deep Clean the Exterior of Your Home - Cleaning the outside of your home will not only make it look newer but will also help add value. One option is using a pressure washer which sprays water at an incredibly high velocity and works well on exterior surfaces.

Another option for exterior cleaning is to use a hand pumped garden sprayer filled with a mixture of water and oxygen bleach (not chlorine bleach). Just spray on and let sit and soak for 10 minutes then rinse with a garden hose.

An interior deep clean is also a good idea, make sure to focus on things like dusting the baseboards and ceiling fans, changing the air filters, scrubbing shower grout and clean out the fireplace if you have one.

Curb Appeal and Landscaping – This is the first impression potential buyers will have with your home so ensure the home looks clean and welcoming. Add flowering shrubs, plants and keep the grass green and groomed. A well landscaped yard will provide an extra space to spend time in, while also adding value. 

Make sure your front doorway lighting and other features are in good condition. Mulch along the edge of a home or along walkways is an inexpensive way to create flowerbeds and place shrubs.

If you don’t have enough front yard or none at all, potted plants and potted flowering shrubs in the most visible areas will work.

‘Perennial’ flowers and plants are a good choice because they live through the winter which keeps you from having to buy new greenery every year.

Add a Deck – More of a project that should be budgeted for but even if you have a large yard, a deck is appealing and will definitely improve the value of your home. If you don’t have much of a back yard, a deck could be the option to utilize that area.

Make sure to match the deck addition to the rest of the existing home for added value and aesthetic appeal.

Composite material decks are becoming a more popular alternative to wood decks as they require less maintenance. However, the cost for these materials is significantly more expensive but could offer cost savings over time.

Moving inside, let’s take a look at some interior features that can be renovated or updated to add value to your home.

Modernize The Kitchen – It’s a room the majority of homeowners dream of making over but the key to making a kitchen remodel pay off is to keep it modest in scale. Ideally you want the kitchen to be spacious with new quality wooden cabinets and plenty of convenient storage and countertop space. 

If your budget allows opt for high-end stone countertops but be sure those materials are comparable to the type/style of your home, If not, a low-maintenance quartz will add it’s own flare.

Include as many amenities as your space will allow such as a breakfast bar and/or new appliances. 

Don’t over do it, paint or reface cabinets instead of replacing them. Spend to much on custom or high-end selections and you’re less likely to recoup your investment.

Update Your Bathrooms – This is especially important for the “en suite,” if you have one. Just like the kitchen, bathrooms are often a big selling point and even the smallest upgrade can count for big points with potential buyers.

Consider adding a whirlpool or spa tub in your master bathroom.

New fixtures and lighting in the bathroom are always a good upgrade idea but won’t really add much value. 

Replacing an old toilet is a relatively inexpensive upgrade that can make a huge impact.

His and her sinks, multiple showers and a separate toilet room are all features that can add value.

Update Your Interior Lighting – Updating or adding new lighting fixtures to your home can add a great deal of value. Most homebuyers want houses that feel bright and sunny, so having adequate indoor lighting is always valuable.

Adding recessed lighting to areas like the kitchen is especially helpful in increasing the value of your home.

New lighting fixtures are a good way bring in more light, a new feel and modernize the look of your home.

Flooring and Painting – Ensure that your flooring and paint is up to date and in good condition. If you have hardwood flooring, take full advantage of it. Real hardwood flooring can increase your home’s value substantially, especially if you have it throughout your home. Painting your home yourself will definitely save you money but remember to pay extra attention to painting the edges and trim because a poor paint job with probably look worse than the existing paint.

Paint rooms selectively and try to pick neutral colors that potential buyers find attractive, to avoid repainting, if you decide to sell your home in the near future.

New carpet or replacing carpet with tile and high quality laminate flooring are other options, also opt for neutral colors and materials that will match with everything.

No matter if it’s carpet, laminate or hardwood be sure to finish the flooring so that it is in prime condition and consider adding a throw rug for color and warmth as winter approaches.

Some larger projects that could add value to your home include adding living space or knocking down walls to create a more spacious feel. Options like this should be discussed with an accredited contractor before making any drastic decisions. Also, if you have an attic with usable space you should maximize it’s potential and utilize the space whenever possible. Consider adding sheetrock and partial flooring to your existing attic space so that it adds a separate storage option in your home.

As far as some upgrades and renovations with the least ROI would be things like an in-ground pool, a major kitchen remodel and additions to your master suite. True, few additions add more enjoyment and entertainment than an in-ground pool but in addition to the installation cost, plan to spend money each year on maintenance, repairs and additional insurance. Having said that, 92% of surveyed homeowners said they “have a greater desire to be at home” since installing the pool and 83% have “an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home.” So for some people and their families the perks of a pool could be priceless. Just remember put as much work as is neccessary and no more because at some point the price will stop growing no matter what you add.

Contact me to discuss your upcoming project and how it could impact the value of your home when the time comes to sell.

Christopher Valdez, MRP | 210.260.8613 | RE/MAX Realty Advantage

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